Almost 20 years ago, local surf artist Owen Cavanagh painted a large mural of Mudjimba Island on the side of an old cane shed next to the Sunshine Motorway.
Since then, the shed and the iconic surf art have become part of the Sunshine Coast Airport and is adjacent to council’s construction site of the new international-standard runway, which welcomed its first flight on June 14.
Today as the final pieces of the old shed are removed for safety reasons, work to preserve what has become an important piece of our community, has commenced.
Sunshine Coast Airport Expansion Project Director, Ross Ullman, said that in the coming weeks the mural would be carefully propped up with metal framing set in a concrete footing.
“We’re pleased to have found a solution to keep this wonderful artwork in the place it has stood for close to 20 years,” Mr Ullman said.
Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray said the mural is part of the landscape and a welcome sight to both locals and visitors alike.
“The artwork has become a part of what we love about the Sunshine Coast Airport and adds to a long list of things that make our region a special place to visit,” Cr O’Pray said.
Artist Owen Cavanagh was both surprised and honoured by the efforts council has made to save his mural. He said the story of the mural began with a carton of beer and a goal to share his art with his community.
“A friend suggested that the shed would be a great spot for a mural, so I met with the owner at the time and before I knew it, I’d finished the mural and paid for the privilege with a carton.
“In 2011, I gave the mural a 10th birthday present and repainted the whole thing because the weather had taken its toll.
“I’ve also had to repaint parts that were defaced with graffiti, much to the dismay of the public who, it turns out, have a deep passion for the artwork.
“I am reminded how much people love and appreciate the wave mural, from kids to adults, on a weekly basis.
“Personally, I couldn’t be happier that the mural is going to stay in its original position for the foreseeable future,” Mr Cavanagh said.
“I would like to personally thank everybody who has supported me throughout the journey—the community, my family and friends.
“Thank you, with all of my heart.”